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15 Minutes With Farah Merani

Actor/filmmaker Farah Merani is a graduate of the Drama Centre London and has performed in Canada, throughout Europe and in Russia. She has appeared in Shadowhunters, Nikita, Lost Girl and The Listener. She is currently developing several TV series with her company, Lifeguard Productions.

Little Pretty and the Exceptional is Farah’s Factory Theatre Debut. The play centers around a family opening a sari shop on Gerrard Street. It is a deeply moving story about the taboo around mental health issues in the South-Asian community, and the power of familial ties in the face of adversity.

SDTC: What should we be paying more attention to?

FM: Grammar.

What was the last Netflix series you binged on?

BBC’s The Silk Road. Currently blitzing through Transparent.

One new thing you learned this year?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one! (Spoiler alert) Through this play alone, I have learned so much about schizophrenia and mental health issues.

Simple answer: Reiki. I just did my level 1 certification in LA.

Fave food indulgence?

Anything with melted cheese.

What lyric/song/book is resonating with you right now?

I always come back to Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet.

What makes you laugh out loud, without fail?

Cat memes.

Best life advice?

Ask your intuition and listen to it. Go where you’re wanted. Breathe.

What is the best part of being your current age?

Freeing myself from the insecurities and expectations of my twenties. Nobody cares if my legs aren’t shaved today but me.

What word or phrase should we use more often?

“Yes, and…” instead of “Yes, but…”

Describe your perfect Saturday.

A leisurely morning with strong coffee, cuddles and crosswords. Yoga. Sunshiney afternoon, trolling garage sales or flea markets. Dinner with friends. Seeing some theatre or music. And a dash of dancing for good measure.

What one item would you be lost without (besides your phone)?

My prescription sunglasses.

Biggest theatre-related pet peeve?

When people bin the programs after the show. At least recycle it, would you?!

What trends are you loving right now?

Women’s marches. Not that they’re technically a trend but that people are becoming more mobilized, and rallying together is amazing.

Or:

Sack dresses and platform patent leather oxfords.

Who was your celebrity crush when you were a kid?

Rio Pacheco. Who wouldn’t fantasize about running their hands through that glorious purple hair?!

One thing you love about Toronto?

Our pluralism. And all the good food!

Little Pretty and the Exceptional runs April 1-30 on the Mainstage at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St).

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